If a Poodle is Shaking His Head
There are 3 main reasons why dogs will shake just their heads:
1) The same reasons for full body shivering - Owners should first look to the 3 most common reasons for shaking (discussed above) which include being cold, having low blood sugar and feeling stressed.
2) Ear issues including fleas, mites, ear infection and inflammation of the ear canal - In this case, a Poodle will voluntarily shake his head as if agitated. He may also rub his head against surfaces such as the wall or carpeting. Additionally, there may be pawing at the ears.
3) Idiopathic head tremors - With this, a Poodle will have clear head bobbing in a vertical 'yes' motion or a horizontal 'no' motion. Episodes come on without warning (meaning no other worrying signs), typically last 3 to 4 minutes and the dog is seemingly perfectly fine afterward.
While a Poodle of any age or variety may be affected by this, it most commonly strikes dogs that are 3 to 7 years old and is seen in both genders at the same rate.
The cause of this type of head shaking is unknown and is only diagnosed by ruling out other medical conditions. Many dogs can be 'snapped' out of an episode with a high sugar treat such as peanut
butter or honey. Veterinarians find it helpful if owners can take a video of this happening to a dog as it is a very specific type of rhythmic movement. There is no current treatment, however so far studies show that this has no ill effects to dogs and distraction often works to stop an occurrence.
Red flag Signs of Emergency Situations
It's really important to go with your gut instinct any time that your Poodle begins to shake uncontrollably. If your Poodle is shivering due to the cold, this is easily fixed and trembling due to excitement should ebb down once the event is over. However, since there are so many possible serious medical conditions of why a Poodle may shake, that owners should not hesitate to seek in-person treatment at the veterinarian clinic or animal hospital.
Signs that call for a professional evaluation include, but are not limited to:
• Heaving panting
• Panicked behavior
• Swollen abdomen
• Trouble breathing
• Signs of pain
• Altered behavior
• Persistent crying
• Changes in appetite
• Changes in drinking
• Pawing at the ears
Understandably many owners are hoping for quick, at-home remedies that will spare them a vet bill; however please remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry. Most health problems can be much more easily treated when caught in the beginning stages.